The Death of Fiction as Mind Movie

Some things I’m influenced by currently

  • Barth’s Literature of Exhaustion essay
  • Book: The Pleasures of Japanese Literature
  • Julio Cortázar’s  Hopscotch
  • The idea of scenes floating in amber, connected but not connected, distant yet apart
  • Ideas on what novels can be, what experiences it can talk about
  • Can something wear the face of a novel, yet underneath be something else? Can it be a madman wearing a novel mask, stretched with letters on a novel halloween costume, but if you get too close he bites you and barks at you and you see if for the truth it is?
  • Books are like memory: subjective lies that define us symbolically
  • I’m tired of OMG KEWL STUFF. This detritus of internet mental garbage that barrages us every day like a pop culture stew of sigils, drowning us in their signs
  • and
  • I’m sick of people acting all hard ass and swearing when they’re blogging about writing. Fuck yeah! Fuck you.  It’s not personality. It’s the symbols of Fight Club that a nascent Generation consumed, devoured, digested, and now spews back into a WordPress interface. It’s not clever, creative, or angsty. It’s someone else’s mental space a generation has claimed for it’s own.
  • I’m also exhausted from all this internet detritus disguised as novels and sold on the Kindle. It’s worse than walking through a bookstore these days. You can’t find an original thought, it’s all Twighlight rip offs, thrillers, Harry Potter rip offs, etc., etc. It’s all someone else’s imagination, retyped with the variables renamed, in hopes they can skim a fortune off the NEXT HAWT THING.
  • The underground used to be the place to go for interesting/edgy/weird stuff. Small press is still the best place for that. I refuse to call Self-Published Kindle authors indie. Nothing indie about them.
  • It seems I’ve gotten off track, but I haven’t. This ties in to what I’m talking about above: the exhaustion of our cultural mindspace. The drowning in symbols, the idea of another’s thoughts taking up residence in our brain, forcing our thoughts to mirror theirs
  • For example: when was the last time you saw a movie or a read a book without any idea at all what you were getting into? Trailers, reviews, previews, critical essays: they all clog our experiences, taking away our own ability to experience it, bit by bit, until the only thing left is someone else’s experience, taking up residence in your mind
  • It’s tiring, living someone else’s life for so long. Unplug! Unplug!
  • An interesting book or movie is one that cannot be taken apart and compartmentalized like that. If it can be summed up in a two sentence elevator pitch, then it does not have room to breathe. If it defies complex explanation, that is a book or movie/etc that lets you breathe
  • It is an experience that becomes solely individual, cannot be replicated in each, but only discusses, existing in a space between two people, floating in a conversational bridge
  • Books are not movies. A strength in a book is breaking away from NOVEL as format, from mind movie as format, from the structure of suspension bridge (suspense as in thriller) to plot. Reading is not a passive sport, it should always be active, surprising.

4 thoughts on “The Death of Fiction as Mind Movie

  1. Picture not one Orobouros but two, eating each others’ tails. One is named “Attention Span”, the other “Critical Thinking Skills”. Why read anything, when we can have a lovely video that’s easier to watch. Why watch something that requires thought, when we can have something that merely entertains, or at least telegraphs its message. Why read a novel when we cn see a film, or better, why read something long and cumbersome like Game of Thrones when it will be broken into hour-long, easily digestible television episodes? Why read a newspaper or magazine article, or worse, why read anything containing actual journalism, when you can click on the television and not only be told what happened but how to think and feel about it. Why even sit through a whole movie or TV show when we can go to YouTube and just see the “good parts” and skip the possibly relevant context? Want to know more? Google it, or just use Wikipedia. Knowing things is so 19th century. Bah. As we lose our ability for critical thinking, and fail to teach it as a life skill to our children, everything gets dumbed down. In dumbing down, we allow critical thinking to further atrophy, requiring further dumbing down. Repeat until the Idiocracy comes.

    • “Knowing things is so 19th Century”

      I love that. I’m swiping that.

      It’s true though, sadly, as freeing as the internet is, we’re losing a lot of ourselves amongst all the garbage. Scientific studies even show that when we have ready access to information, we lose the need to memorize and recall it

  2. I agree with most everything said. We slowly drown in an ocean of thought pollution. The finger of blame can point a million ways (and probably will), but it is our own fault. Everyone of us. We put the structures in place by supporting them. We allow the mental garbage to continue to pile up and then wonder why Hollywood is driven to recycle.

    An authors name should never be larger then the title of the book.

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